The government will not necessarily follow suit if US President-elect Barack Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan as part of an Iraq-style ''surge'', Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Sunday.

Obama indicated during his election campaign that he wanted to increase the US presence in Afghanistan while beginning a phased withdrawal from Iraq.

Britain already has 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, fighting Taliban extremists in the south of the country.

Asked if Obama''s plans to step up the pace of operations in Afghanistan would require an increase in Britain''s commitment there, Miliband told the BBC: "Not necessarily, no."

He added: "We will look at what new American deployments are going to be. President-elect Obama has said he wants two new brigades to go in, there are an extra 1,500 French troops and the Germans are increasing the number of their troops.

"As the second-largest contributor of troops in Afghanistan, the first thing we say is that we don''t want to bear an unfair share of the burden.

"The second thing we say is that more foreign troops on their own are not going to provide the answer in Afghanistan. It needs to be an approach that combines a serious security presence with the development of the country."

Miliband said the lesson learned from Iraq had been that military might alone would not win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

"It''s got to be a civilian surge as well as a military surge. That is the lesson from Iraq as well as Afghanistan," he said.